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Public Land Dove Hunt #7573385 08/06/19 04:07 PM
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AdanV Offline OP
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Last 2 dove seasons were pretty bust for me.
I'm guessing the rapid urban development in West Houston/Katy/Cypress drove away everything the migrating dove will feast on.

The main place I go is a milo crop.
The 2nd place I go is an open field.
Both of these had very little dove activity after several outings in the same season.

So I'm probably going to drive further out west for some new public lands this coming season.

I'm going through Onx and looking up all the public lands and seeing how much agriculture is in the area around them.
Particularly, the more agriculture farms and ponds, the better.

What do yall look for in a field, other than scouting for dove activity?


God Bless Texas
texas

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Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: AdanV] #7573998 08/07/19 12:49 PM
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takemking Online Content
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Native sunflowers.

Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: takemking] #7575177 08/08/19 06:09 PM
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JB1316 Offline
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I've always enjoyed hunting sunflower fields, but had a good amount of luck in the Beasley area on Milo too. (lease manager was GreyFeather Adventures but think they disappeared after Harvey). I hunted Herberts Preserve in Waller a number of times last year and think I saw maybe 1 or 2 dove total. That field was dead. Not many hunters on it typically, only 2-3 I could see generally, so crowding certainly wasnt an issue. Saw the local game warden each time out (really nice guy) and he pretty much confirmed the area was dead last year so maybe a bad first experience there.

Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: AdanV] #7575242 08/08/19 07:30 PM
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Herbie Hancock Online Content
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I’ve driven by the Hebert preserve randomly during the season the past few years and it looks pretty darn pathetic.

The one that is in between Chappell Hill and Brenham is even worse. Last year they made that one even smaller, that one at least had some water to hunt by. Then again the property wasn’t managed worth a darn, crap weeds over 3’ high in there.

Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: Herbie Hancock] #7578086 08/12/19 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Herbie Hancock
I’ve driven by the Hebert preserve randomly during the season the past few years and it looks pretty darn pathetic.

The one that is in between Chappell Hill and Brenham is even worse. Last year they made that one even smaller, that one at least had some water to hunt by. Then again the property wasn’t managed worth a darn, crap weeds over 3’ high in there.

Glad I didnt drive the extra hour out to the Chappell Hill property then, I had it flagged on my maps to check out but never made it out. I've been told by an outfitter im looking at in the Waller area that last year was pretty slow in general, not sure if that's true across the board, but I sure didnt hear much shooting while I was out.

Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: AdanV] #7578226 08/12/19 03:54 PM
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TLoving Offline
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The Public land dove hunting in the Houston area is poor at best. I have driven as far north as the fields near Grosebeck, to as far west as New Braunsfels, and out 290 to Carmine area. I have seen fields that are taller than head high in brush, a few fields with a bit of goatweed, Bermuda grass pastures, and hay meadows called dove leases. One field in Limestone county did have a small stand of native sunflowers and the Herbert Preserve does have cropland.

I have had a few decent hunts on the Jozwiak Road unit outside of Chappell Hill before they shrunk the field and a couple of good hunts near New Braunsfels.

Last year I counted 88 vehicles parked around the perimeter of the Herbert Preserve about 7:30 opening morning. That is a lot of hunters for the number of birds present.

After seeing the options available in the Houston area, I wrote Texas Parks and Wildlife a letter asking them if property is scouted before being leased by the State. They responded that a biologist reviews the properly to make sure it is appropriate for the species being hunted.

For the life of me I still can't figure out how that biologist can label a property as a dove lease when the brush is 8-10 ft tall. If I did see a dove above me and managed to hit it, I don't know how I would ever find my downed bird.


Luck favors the prepared mind.
Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: AdanV] #7578274 08/12/19 04:42 PM
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88 vehicles? Holy cow its a miracle somebody didn't get peppered! The ones I've hunted around DFW seemed to be freshly harvested/plowed hay fields. As far as I know dove don't eat hay. Hunting was poor.

Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: TLoving] #7578452 08/12/19 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TLoving
The Public land dove hunting in the Houston area is poor at best. I have driven as far north as the fields near Grosebeck, to as far west as New Braunsfels, and out 290 to Carmine area. I have seen fields that are taller than head high in brush, a few fields with a bit of goatweed, Bermuda grass pastures, and hay meadows called dove leases. One field in Limestone county did have a small stand of native sunflowers and the Herbert Preserve does have cropland.

I have had a few decent hunts on the Jozwiak Road unit outside of Chappell Hill before they shrunk the field and a couple of good hunts near New Braunsfels.

Last year I counted 88 vehicles parked around the perimeter of the Herbert Preserve about 7:30 opening morning. That is a lot of hunters for the number of birds present.

After seeing the options available in the Houston area, I wrote Texas Parks and Wildlife a letter asking them if property is scouted before being leased by the State. They responded that a biologist reviews the properly to make sure it is appropriate for the species being hunted.

For the life of me I still can't figure out how that biologist can label a property as a dove lease when the brush is 8-10 ft tall. If I did see a dove above me and managed to hit it, I don't know how I would ever find my downed bird.

Wow, 88 vehicles - no way would i have gotten out of the truck if I drove up on that. I think I went the second weekend of the season and then 4 more times. Sometimes during the week, some weekends. I think, much like a lot of dove leases, they clear out quite a bit after opening weekend.

Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: AdanV] #7578573 08/12/19 11:33 PM
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TLoving Offline
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Unlike outfitters that can let a field cool off those of us that hunt the public land have no control how often an area is hunted. Any birds that are in the area are shot or the daily hunting pressure day after day after day finally pushes the birds out of an area.

I am disappointed that the Parks and Wildlife Department does not do a better job of providing more quality options in the Houston area. With 88 vehicles parked around the perimeter of the Herbert Preserve last year the Department collected well over $4000 in permit fees from that one field opening morning. Surely more of the money spent by Houston area hunters could be spent providing opportunities in the Houston area. Obviously the Houston area has a high demand for dove hunting.

Anyway off my soapbox.....


Luck favors the prepared mind.
Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: AdanV] #7579179 08/13/19 07:07 PM
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I am gonna check out the ones in the Carmine area in the up coming weeks, at least those have some water to sit next to for the evening hunts.

Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: AdanV] #7579191 08/13/19 07:29 PM
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Not taking up for TPWD ,but they try to lease more land around major cities. More than likely,can't find willing landowners wanting to put up with all the idiots that show up on their land & trash the place out & treat it like a dump. Not everyone that hunts public is like that,but way too many disrespectful & just plain I don't give a care type do. See plenty of them hunting on public. Makes me sick to see it.

Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: AdanV] #7580726 08/15/19 04:16 PM
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I don't even bother to hunt dove anymore. The public land situation around DFW is so bad. Its not worth the 2 hour drive to the nearest public land just to fight the other 100 people for space. The area around Abilene is still really good but demand has driven up the price of leases so much its just not worth it anymore.

Re: Public Land Dove Hunt [Re: TLoving] #7603022 09/10/19 03:26 PM
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Hey, I hear you, but in reality is all about money! bottom line, some time hunters doesn't come close to what a developer can do, purchase
land, subdivide it, put in infrastructure, and sell lots for homes or single family homes, more money and return for them than a short term hunters
who only there a few months of the year!

Im seeing the goose season leases slowly go away for that same reason, sad but true!....

Little to no dove over here near the Lake Somerville this year, few locals, came and went, we need a major weather change to come, that won't happen
til Oct or so I bet!.....



hunt safe.....


"Walk softly and carry a big stick!"
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